“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatian 6:9
We have almost come to the end of Black History Month, but before we do, I wish to acknowledge a person of esteem greatness and a friend to all. Sometimes there is greatness within our presence, and we fail to give due attention or highlight those individuals. Maybe the reason for us overlooking those persons is because they are not nationally or internationally known. Or maybe it is because the person was not who and what we wanted them to be. We spend an inordinate amount of time recognizing and paying tribute to persons who have been trailblazers, and rightfully so. Yet, we have been in the company of persons who have made significant contributions without a lot of fanfare. Our history will always be of utmost importance, but our association with great people today should be acknowledged and not forgotten.
Today I wish to pay tribute to a gentleman, scholar and musical genius, Dr. Ulysses Moye. This man has assisted many churches, schools and communities in the DMV in becoming what they are today. For his gifts and talents go far deeper than his musical prowess. He is truly a man of God who relies on the Word of God as his guide. In being a servant of God, he has relied heavily on the scriptures related to the Levites in carrying out his calling.
May I remind you that these are my opinions and observations. For several years Dr. Moye organized, produced and presented Christmas and Easter productions at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church and Grace United Methodist Church. The Christmas and Easter productions at Grace United Methodist Church were phenomenal and will never be reproduced or replicated in such form and fashion again. Sometimes we witness matters of excellence and forget all about them. These programs became widely known and attracted people in the community and beyond. There were most years two sessions where the attendance exceeded the capacity of the sanctuary and attendees would have to watch on big screen in the overflow room. It was a time of excitement and great joy that many people looked forward to every year. To many, it may have been just another Christmas program, but it garnered the reputation of being a production and not just a program. It was a worship service that touched the hearts and minds of people in a very special and unique way. We all look forward to something of grandeur and majestic during the Christmas season, so let me share what I considered to be classified as grandeur.
Have you ever had a dream come true? As a pastor, one of my dreams during my tenure as pastor was a vision of a Christmas production and Easter Production that shared the birth of Jesus and the Easter story in a musical and drama production. Dr. Ulysses Moye was responsible for bringing together a choir that sang in antiphonal fashion for several years. The members of the choir, I believe, failed to realize how good they were. It may also be said that the audience failed to realize the ingenuity and power of their voices. In addition to the musical, a drama component was also a part of the Easter and Christmas worship services. May we also salute Purcell and Cheryl Conway for their writing and producing the drama portion. Meshing the drama and musical components together made it stunning and exceptional. Having different denominations coming together for such a time revealed the love of God in a very special way.
Dr. Ulysses Moye has an impeccable resume, but his humility, work ethic, gentle spirit, and services to community and love for God outweighs all other parts of his resume. His work in education in the George Washington University, District of Columbia, Prince George’s County and Fairfax County Public Schools may never become public information, but he has made a tremendous impact on children in those school systems. His professional affiliations outnumber the hairs on his head.
To briefly sum it up would be to say he is a man from humble beginnings who made it in the big times. He could have been a rich man financially, but he never placed emphasis on payment for his services as many musicians do. His name and good work should never be forgotten by those of us who were in his company. If you have been associated with any of his works, consider yourself fortunate and blessed.
The writer of the book of Hebrews presents an impressive list of heroic figures from the Old Testament, men and women whose stories had an impact on our faith. This chapter in the Bible is called the “Hall of Faith” or the “Faith Hall of Fame. If there was a Hall of Fame for persons in our area, surely Dr. Moye would be one of them.
Are there persons you honor and highly appreciate for the good work? If so, show some love.
“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” 1 Timothy 5:17
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor